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Saturday, December 24, 2011

NASCAR K&N Pro Series Pro skips Irwindale

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will not be making a stop at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale or Southern California for that matter.
The closest the West Series will get to Los Angeles is Stockton.
NASCAR released the scheduled for the 2012 West Series on Friday. The series has expanded to 15 races and will visit Minnesota, but the traditional Fourth of July race at Irwindale is not part of the schedule.
The West Series will make three visits to tracks in California. Stokcton 99 Speedway, Infineon Raceway in Sonoma and All-American Speedway in Roseville are on the West Series schedule.
Go to ESPNLA.com for more on the decision to skip Irwindale.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tanner Swanson keeps Turkey Night Grand Prix championship in the family



The 71st running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale didn't start out very clean.
A five-car crash at the start of the USAC Sprint Car race took out the leader in the Western Sprint Car standings and a former Turkey Night Grand Prix champion.
Tanner Swanson spun out before the start of the 40-lap Sprint Car race. Audra Sasselli, who entered the race with a 20-point lead in the Western Sprint Car standings, had her car overturned in the crash.
Tracy Hines, who won the Sprint Car race at the Turkey Night Grand Prix in 2008, was also collected in the crash.
Cody Gearhardt was taken to a nearby hospital for observation. Jo Jo Helberg and Bobby East also crashed at the start of the race and did not return.
Tanner Swanson escaped the crash and went on to win the Sprint Car race. He was followed by his brother, Kody Swanson, in second. Kody Swanson won the Turkey Night Grand Prix Sprint Car race last year.
Caleb Armstrong from New Castle, Ind., won the 98-lap, crash-filled USAC Midget race.
Bryan Clauson, who won the previous two Midget races at the Turkey Night Grand Prix, was third.
Ross Rankine won the USAC Ford Focus Midgets race, the first of his career. Nick Drake was second, followed by Garrett Peterson in third.
Jessica Clark, a senior at Westlake High School, won the USAC Ford Focus Western Pavement and Southern California championship. She finished in 13th place in the 23-car Turkey Night Grand Prix field.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jack Beckman's rough road to NHRA Funny Car title

Jack Beckman has survived cancer and beat the odds on starting a family. By the end of the weekend, he can check another goal off his list.
Beckman is one of three drivers in contention for the NHRA Funny Car championship at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.
He entered the weekend one point out of first place and behind his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan.
Cruz Pedregon, a two-time NHRA champion, is in third place and only 26 points out of first.
Go to ESPNLA.com for more on Beckman's rise to the top of the NHRA Funny Car class.

Photo: Jack Beckman, top, trails Matt Hagan by one point in the NHRA Funny Car standings. The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season finale is this weekend in Pomona. (NHRA)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ron Silk tops NASCAR Hunter Index for October

Ron Silk, who won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series championship last week in Connecticut, was voted as the top driver in the NASCAR Hunter Index for October.
He won two Whelen Modified races in September, including one at New Hampshire International Speedway, and took over the lead in the Whelen Modified standings.
No drivers from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West were ranked in the top 10. Three drivers from the K&N Pro Series East were in the top 10, including Sergio Pena, who won at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina. He came in at No. 9.
Go to NASCAR Home Tracks for more on the Hunter Index.

Photo: NASCAR Whelen Modified driver Ron Silk was voted as the top driver in the Hunter Index for October. (Getty Images)

Greg Pursley wraps up NASCAR West Series championship

With a runner-up finish at All American Speedway in Roseville, Greg Pursley won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship.
Pursley won six of the first eight West Series races en route to capturing the first West Series championship of his career.
Eric Holmes won the West Series race at Roseville, his second in a row.
Go to the K&N website for more on the West Series race from Roseville.

Photo: Greg Pursley finished second at All American Speedway in Roseville and won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship.(Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dan Wheldon, Bryan Herta made a good team

During the Long Beach Grand Prix in April, Bryan Herta announced that Dan Wheldon was going to drive one of his cars in the Indianapolis 500.
Bryan Herta Autosport was making its second trip to the Brickyard, but this time with an IndyCar Series champion and Indy 500 winner.
It was an amazing partnership. Herta was running a fledgling Firestone Indy Lights team and entered only one IndyCar Series race prior to the 2011 Indianapolis 500.
Wheldon, who won the Indy 500 and the IndyCar Series championship with Andretti Green Racing in 2005, did not have a full-time ride and was available.
Wheldon and Herta teamed up – they were teammates with Andretti Green for nearly four years – and pulled off one of the most dramatic wins in Indy 500 history.
Wheldon took the lead from J.R. Hildebrand on the last turn of the last lap of the race. Hildebrand, a rookie driver who had a comfortable lead as the Indy 500 winded down, slid into the turn 4 wall. His mangled car crossed the finish line in second place.
Wheldon had enough time to pass Hildebrand and win his second Indy 500.
Wheldon and Herta, a Hart High graduate who lives in Valencia, teamed up once again for the IndyCar Series season finale this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Wheldon was driving one of two entries from Bryan Herta Autosport in the race.
But the Las Vegas race did not have quite the fairy-tale ending that Indianapolis had. Wheldon died tragically in a fiery crash on lap 12 of the Las Vegas race. He was caught up in a 15-car crash that sent two cars into the track’s catch fence.
Three drivers were hospitalized in the wreck. Wheldon was taken by helicopter to University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Reports were that he was unconscious, but in stable condition, when he left the race track.
IndyCar Series officials announced that Wheldon had died almost two hours after the crash.

“Everyone at Bryan Herta Autosport is reeling from the loss of our friend and teammate Dan Wheldon," Herta said in a release. "Dan was the glue that bound our little team together. It was his spark and belief in us that carried us all to Victory Lane at Indianapolis this year, and his legacy within the sport as a tremendous champion and competitor is unquestioned. But more than that, Dan became my little brother from our time together as teammates at AGR. I watched with pride as he developed from the brash young hotshot on the circuit to a man who was a great husband and father, ambassador, friend, champion and hero."
The remaining 19 drivers in the race, those whose cars were not wrecked in the crash, paid tribute to Wheldon with a five-lap parade around the track.
The drivers, teams and IndyCar Series officials decided not to continue the race.
Wheldon had to start from the back of the 34-car field. He was the only driver taking the IndyCar Series challenge. Any driver who was not full time in the IndyCar Series could enter the race with a chance to win $5 million. The only stipulation was that those drivers had to start from the back.
Wheldon competed in only two IndyCar Series races prior to the Las Vegas race. He won the Indy 500 and was 14th at Kentucky Speedway two weeks ago.
Much of the blame for the deadly crash is being put on the number of cars in the field, 34, one more than the starting grid for the Indy 500. The large entry field combined with the 1.5-mile track, compared to the 2.5 mile track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, made for a deadly combination, some are saying.
Wheldon moved up 10 places in the first 10 laps of the race. He was in the middle of a pack of drivers with little experience and little to lose. In the end though, it was Wheldon who paid the ultimate price for other drivers’ mistakes.
A driver hasn’t died in an IndyCar Series race since Paul Dana at Homestead-Miami Speedway crashed in practice in 2006. Even Hildebrand’s crash at this year Indy 500, as scary as it was, was not fatal. Safety at the tracks and in the race cars have improved so much is such a short time.
It will be some time before the cause of Wheldon’s death is determined. Hopefully, the impact of his life will be remembered for a long time to come.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Susie and the boys, and all of Dan’s family and fans who are trying to make sense of this terrible loss," Herta said in a release. "We are all lucky and blessed to have had Dan Wheldon influence our lives, and his spirit lives on in each one of us. Godspeed my friend.”
Photo: The No. 77 of Dan Wheldon was the only one displayed on the scoring pylon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after the driver was killed in a crash at the track on Sunday. (Chris Jones)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Five track championships decided at Irwindale



Connor Cantrell of Santa Clarita wrapped up the Super Trucks championship by finishing second in the season finale race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.
Ryan Partridge of Rancho Cucamonga won the final race of the season.
Cantrell came into the season finale with a four-race winning streak and a 40-point lead over Partridge, who won the Super Trucks championship at Irwindale last year.
Todd Cameron of Monrovia was third, followed by Matt Kimball and Ken Brown.
Andrew Anderson of Lancaster won the S2 stock car championship by winning the season finale at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.
Anderson had an 18-point lead over Andrew Porter of La Verne in the S2 stock car standings. Anderson won his fourth S2 stock car races this season. Porter won three races and finished second in the season finale.
Jessica Clark, a senior at Westlake High School, scored her first podium finish in the S2 stock cars. She finished third, her second top-five finish of the season.
Chad Schug of Oak Hills won the Legends Cars championship. He won eight races at Irwindale and came into the season finale with a 52-point lead over Brent Scheidmantle of Alta Loma.
Christian McGhee capped his championship season in the Bandoleros by winning the season finale. He finished ahead of Daniel Nikolai of Granada Hills, who was second, and Mikael Lovas of Menifee in third.
McGhee had a four-point lead over Nikolai in the Bandoleros standings at the start of the night.
Curtis White of Norwalk won the NASCAR Super Stocks race and track championship, leap-frogging Rich DeLong III of Santa Clarita on the last race of the season.
White won the championship by two points over De Long. It was his second win of the season.
De Long came into the season finale with a slim two-point lead over White in the Super Stocks standings. Zack Green of Long Beach was 18 points out of first.
De Long finished third in the season finale race. Green was fourth.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Moffitt wins NASCAR East Series race at New Hampshire

By winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Brett Moffitt has jumped into contention for the championship.
He is 21 points behind leader Max Gresham with one race remaining, tonight at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.
Moffitt won his third race of the season leading 53 laps at New Hampshire.
Gresham, a two-time winner in the East Series this year, was seventh at New Hampshire.
Moffitt has won the past two East Series races at Dover.
Go to the K&N website for more on the East Series race at New Hampshire.

Photo: Brett Moffitt won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, his third of the season.(Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eric Holmes wins NASCAR West Series race at Spokane

Eric Holmes and Bill McAnally Racing did what few teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West have been able to do this season: Beat Gene Price Motorsports.
Holmes, the reigning West Series champ, won the West Series race at Spokane County Raceway in Washington, his first of the season.
Greg Pursley and Dylan Kwasniewski, the drivers for Gene Price Motorsports, have combined to win eight of the 12 West Series races this season.
Kwasniewski, winner of the previous two West Series races, won the pole at Spokane and led the first 103 laps of the Spokane 200. Holmes took the lead for good on lap 150 and was out front for the last 50 laps of the race.
Go to the K&N website for more on the West Series race from Spokane County Raceway.

Photo: Eric Holmes won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Spokane County Raceway in Washington. It was his first win of the season and the 15th of his West Series career.(Credit: Otto Kitsinger/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Rookie Dylan Kwasniewski ranked top driver in NASCAR Hunter Index

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West rookie driver Dylan Kwasniewski was voted the top driver in the Hunter Index for August by one point.
Knowing Kwasniewski, he wouldn't care if he won by one point or 100 as long as he won.
That's his approach to racing. It's no surprise he became the youngest driver in K&N Pro Series history to win a race taking the checkered flag at Colorado National Speedway.
He made it two in a row eight days later winning at Montana Raceway Park.
The 16-year-old from Las Vegas is the only driver from the K&N Pro Series West in the top 10 of the Hunter Index.
Philip Morris, who races in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at South Boston Speedway in Virginia, was second in the Hunter Index after going a perfect 4-for-4 in winning races.
Go to NASCAR Home Tracks for more on the Hunter Index for August.

Photo: Dylan Kwasniewski won two NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races in August and was voted the top driver in the Hunter Index. (Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tony Hunt wins USAC Western Sprint Car Series race at Irwindale

Tony Hunt from Lincoln won the USAC Western Sprint Car Series race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, taking the lead from Audra Sasselli from Visalia on lap 31 of the 40-lap race.
It was Hunt’s third win in the USAC Western Classic Racing Series. He won at Madera Speedway in April and again in June.
Hunt entered the race as the leader in the Western Sprint Car Series and the Western Classic Sprint Car Series standings.
Sasselli finished second after Cody Gerhardt was penalized for jumping the final restart of the race. Tim Skoglund from Fresno was third. Gerhardt was dropped to fourth.
Brodie Kostecki, a 13-year-old Australian who is living in Madera, won the USAC Midget Ford Focus Midget race. He was a double winner at Irwindale, taking the USAC Young Guns race as well.
Jessica Clark, a senior at Westlake High School, was second in the Ford Focus Midget race. She leads the USAC Ford Focus Midget Western Pavement standings.
Paul Graham was third in the Ford Focus Midget race after Shawn Buckley was disqualified.
Connor Cantrell of Valencia won the NASCAR Super Trucks race, his second in a row. He passed Ryan Partridge of Rancho Cucamonga on the last lap of the race and extended his lead in the Super Trucks standings at the track.
Partridge finished second, his third runner-up finish of the season. He trails Cantrell by 10 points in the Super Trucks standings after 11 races.
Todd Cameron of Monrovia was third.
Devon Ostheimer from Morgan Hill won the S2 stock car race, his second of the season. He has raced only the times in the S2 stock car class and has not finished worse than second.
Andrew Anderson of Lancaster, the leader in the S2 standings at the track, was second. It was his fourth runner-up finish in eight S2 races.
Andrew Porter of La Verne was third and is in second place in the S2 standings, 18 points behind Anderson.
Daryl Scoggins of Sunland won the NASCAR Mini Stocks race. It was his third win of the season. He leads the Mini Stocks standings at Irwindale after seven races.
Robby Hornsby of Yucaipa, making only his second start of the season in the Mini Stocks, was second. Kevin Bernhardt from Fontana was third.

Jessica Clark pulls double duty at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale



Jessica Clark, a senior at Westlake High School, leads the USAC Ford Focus Midgets Western Pavement standings by 199 points.
She raced in the USAC Ford Focus Midget and S2 stock cars races at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown canceled

The NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown attracted the best young and developmental drivers in the country. Joey Logano, David Gilliland, Brian Ickler and Travis Pastrana have raced in the Showdown to sell-out crowds on national TV.
But not even the allure of promising NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, sell outs and television exposure could keep the All-Star Showdown alive.
The All-Star Showdown, which was scheduled to run in January 2012 at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, was canceled on Wednesday, ending eight years of exciting races.
Go to ESPNLA.com for more on the cancellation of the All-Star Showdown and the history of the races at Irwindale.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Luis Martinez breaks through with first West Series win, selected as NASCAR Next 9

Luis Martinez Jr. won the first race of his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West career at Portland International Raceway in Oregon in July. It was a bit of a surprising win considering the start to the season Martinez had.
It was also surprising because few drivers in the West Series have been able to beat Greg Pursley this season.
Martinez, a 21-year-old driver from Long Beach, won the 2010 West Series rookie of the year and was selected as one of the NASCAR Next 9 of up-and-coming drivers.
He has already tested the waters of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and is coming off a top-20 effort at Montreal on Saturday.
Go to the K&N website for more on Martinez and his West Series career.

Photo: Luis Martinez Jr. won the first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race of his career at Portland International Raceway in July. (Credit: Jonathon Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rookie Dylan Lupton wins NASCAR Late Model race at Irwindale




Rookie Dylan Lupton of Wilton won the NASCAR Late Models race, his fourth of the season, at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.
Brandon Davis of Huntington Beach, the leader in the Late Model standings at the track, was second.
The race was stopped when leader RJ Johnson of Canyon Country crashed into the turn 3 wall on lap 18. He blew a tire and the explosion ripped off the left front fender and driverside door panel. Johnson was not hurt in the crash, but he had to withdraw from the race.
Larry Cerquettini of Redlands was third and recorded his first podium finish in the Late Models.
Chad Schug of Oak Hills won the Legends Cars race and took over the lead in the Legends Cars standings at the track. It was his sixth win of the season.
Schug and Brent Scheidemantle of Alta Loma came into the race tied for the lead in the Legends Cars standings. Schug has a slight two-point lead after winning.
Scheidemantle was second in a crash-filled race. Cory Miles crashed into the turn 1 foam barrier in one of the more violent wrecks. He was able to walk away from the crash.
Darren Amidon of Alpine finished third.
Austin Grabowski won the open comp race. He was followed by Joe Anderson of Valencia in second and Jim Schoening of San Diego in third.
Richard Smith of Los Angeles won the Drive Tech Late Models race. Christopher Evans of San Bernardino was second and David Sear of La Jolla was third.
Eric Sunness of Chatsworth won the NASCAR Super Stocks race and Curtis White of Norwalk took over the lead in the Super Stocks standings at the track.
Sunness won his second race of the season, but he has missed two races. White was the runner-up and passed Rich DeLong III of Santa Clarita for the lead in the Super Stock standings. White has a four-point lead over DeLong after eight races.
Zack Green of Long Beach was third.
Brandon Weaver of Baker won the Bandoleros race, his third in a row. Weaver passed for the lead on the final lap a green-white-checkered flag finish.
Ricky Schlick of Claremont was second, followed by Austin Farr of Lomita in third.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dylan Kwasniewski wins second straight NASCAR West Series race

Dylan Kwasniewski won his second NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race in a row, leading 99 laps at Montana Raceway Park on Saturday night.
Kwasniewski became the youngest driver, at 16 years, two months, to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series race last week at Colorado National Speedway.
The driver from Las Vegas took the lead from pole winner and Gene Price Motorsports teammate Greg Pursley on lap 52 of the Toyota/TTC 150 in Montana. He was out front for the final 48 caution free laps.
Pursley extended his lead in the West Series standings with a fourth-place finish.
Go to the K&N website for more on the West Series race at Montana.

Photo: Dylan Kwasniewski, a 16-year-old driver from Las Vegas, won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Montana Raceway Park, his second in a row. (Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Austin Barnes of Escondido wins Lucas Oil Modified Series race at Irwindale



Austin Barnes of Escondido, a junior at Escondido High School, won the Lucas Oil Modified Series race, his second of the season and his second in a row at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.
The 16-year-old Barnes won the Modified Series race at Irwindale on June 4 and has posted four top-five finishes in six races.
Chris Gerchman of Moreno Valley was second, followed by Jim Mardis of Moreno Valley in third.
Mardis leads the Modified Series after six races. He won the race in Las Vegas on May 14 and has not finished outside the top five all season.
Rod Johnson of Canyon Country, the 1999 Super Late Model track champion at Irwindale, finished sixth.
RJ Johnson of Canyon Country won the NASCAR Super Late Models race, his fourth in a row. Johnson has won six of the seven Super Late Model races at Irwindale.
Kevin Thompson of Conroe, Texas, was second, followed by Race Liberante of Quartz Hill was third.
Connor Cantrell of Valencia won his first NASCAR Super Trucks race of the season and extended his lead in the Super Trucks standings.
Cantrell led from the pole until a crash on lap 38 set up a green-white-checker flag finish. Cantrell lost his lead to Ryan Partridge of Rancho Cucamonga on lap 39, but crossed the finish line a fraction of a second ahead of Partridge on the final lap of the race.
Cantrell has an eight-point lead over Partridge, the reigning Super Trucks champion, after 10 races.
Todd Cameron of Monrovia finished third in the race.
Andrew Anderson of Lancaster won the S2 stock car race, passing Devon Ostheimer of Morgan Hill during a green-white-checker flag finish.
Andreson extended his lead in the S2 stock car standings over Andrew Porter of La Verne.
Ostheimer finished second, followed by Joe Anderson of Valencia in third.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rookie Dylan Kwasniewski wins NASCAR West Series race at Colorado

Rookie Dylan Kwasniewski broke three records in winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Colorado National Speedway.
He became the youngest driver to win a K&N Pro Series race in either the West or East series.
At 16 years, two months, he was younger than Joey Logano, who won his first West Series race at 16 years, 10 months.
He is younger than Darrell Wallace Jr., who was the youngest driver to win an East Series race at 16 years, five months.
For good measure, he became the youngest driver to win a pole in a West Series race, besting the mark set by Spencer Clark in 2006.
Go to the K&N website for more on Kwasniewski's record-setting run at Colorado National Speedway.

Photo: Dylan Kwasniewski won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Colorado National Speedway and became the youngest driver to win a West Series race. (Credit: Justin Edmond/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pursley, Martinez in NASCAR Hunter Index top 10

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver Greg Pursley has been the only driver to be in every NASCAR Hunter Index this year. He won the West Series race at Evergreen Speedway in Washington and comes in at No. 7 in the Hunter Index for August.
Pursley has won six West Series races and has a commanding lead in the West Series standings.
Luis Martinez Jr., a driver from Long Beach, won the West Series race at Portland International Raceway, the first of his career, and cracked the Hunter Index top 10 for the first time this year. He was ranked No. 8.
Even Brandon Davis, a driver from Huntington Beach racing NASCAR Late Models at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, earned an honorable mention in the Hunter Index for July.
Go to NASCAR Home Tracks for the entire Hunter Index for August.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Darrell Wallace Jr. wins NASCAR East Series race at Columbus Motor Speedway

Darrell Wallace Jr. won the inaugural NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Columbus Motor Speedway in Ohio in dominating fashion.
Wallace took the lead on lap 35 of the Jegs 150 and never looked back. It was the second win of the season for Wallace.
Max Gresham finished seventh and saw his lead in the East Series standings trimmed a bit. Brett Moffitt was third in the race and is second in the East Series standings, 80 points behind Gresham.
Wallace is third in the East Series standings and 100 points behind Gresham.
Go to the K&N website for more on the East Series race from Columbus.

Photo: Darrell Wallace Jr. won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Columbus Motor Speedway. It was his second East Series win of the season. (Credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Luis Martinez Jr. wins NASCAR West Series race at Portland

Luis Martinez Jr., a driver from Long Beach, won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Portland International Raceway in Oregon, becoming one of the few drivers to beat Greg Pursley this year.
Martinez won the first race of his West Series career. He was the 2010 Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the West Series.
Martinez won the pole foe the Bi-Mart Salute to the Troops 125, but had to rally through the field late in the race. He led the first three laps, but started dropping back. He passed David Mayhew for the lead on the last lap of the race.
Pursley, who has won six of the nine races in the West Series, led the most laps in the race, but blew his motor and finished in 26th place.
Go to the K&N website for more on the West Series race from Portland.

Photo: Luis Martinez Jr. won the first race of his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West career at Portland International Raceway. (Credit: Jonathon Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Max Gresham wins NASCAR East Series race at New Hampshire

Max Gresham won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and took a commanding lead in the East Series standings.
Gresham won the pole and was out front for the first part of the race. But he missed pit road and put his car back in the pack midway through the race.
Gresham worked his way through the field and passed Brett Moffitt on lap 112 of the New Hampshire 125. Gresham pulled away over the final 12 laps of the race. He won his second race of the season and the fourth of his East Series career.
Gresham has a 94-point lead over Moffitt in the East Series with four races to go.
Go to the K&N website for more on the East Series race from New Hampshire.

Photo: Max Gresham won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and extended his lead in the East Series standings. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Brandon Davis wins NASCAR Late Model race at Irwindale



Brandon Davis of Huntington Beach won the NASCAR Late Models race, his seventh of the season and his second in a row at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.
Davis extended his lead in the Late Model standings at the track. He is 56 points ahead of Nik Romano of Wilton after 12 races.
"It feels great to get back into victory lane for the second week in a row,” Davis said. “We have just a good a chance to win the next one as anybody else. Hopefully we can come back and win a third one in a row.”
Romano was second in the race, followed by Chris Holloway of Bakersfield in third. Holloway took over third place when Dylan Lupton spun out on the last lap of the race. Lupton was running in third when he spun and crossed the finish line in fifth place.
Luis Martinez Jr. of Long Beach, a regular on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, was eighth.
In other races, Ryan Partridge of Rancho Cucamonga was back to his winning ways in the NASCAR Super Trucks. He won his fifth race of the season. Two weeks ago, he had his worst finish of the season, 17th place, and lost his lead in the Super Trucks standings.
Todd Cameron of Monrovia was second, followed by Jeff Peterson of Riverside in third.
Connor Cantrell of Valencia, the leader in the Super Trucks standings, was fourth.
Brent Scheidemantle of Alta Loma won the Legends Cars race. It was his second win of the season.
Chad Schug of Oak Hills, the leader in the Legends Cars standings, was second, followed by Mark Borchetta of Valencia in third.
Robby Hornsby of Yucaipa won the Mini Stocks race in his season debut in the series. Daryl Scoggins of Sunland, the leader in the Mini Stocks standings, was second, followed by Ryan Bragdon of Beaumont in third.
Rod Proctor of Riverside won the figure 8s race. He was followed by Jay Henson in second and Steve Stewart in third.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Alex Bowman makes jump from USAC to NASCAR's Next 9

Alex Bowman started out racing quarter midgets in California and Arizona when he was 7 years old. He was a regular at Ventura Raceway and competed in his share of races in the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.
He made the switch to stock cars last year and is leading the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East rookie standings. The 18-year-old Bowman is one of three young drivers for the newly formed X Team Racing. His teammates have combined for one win and two poles, but Bowman is still in search of his first win and pole in NASCAR.
He is one of the up-and-coming drivers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and selected as one of the Next 9 by NASCAR.
Go to the K&N website for more on Bowman and his rookie season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

Photo: Alex Bowman leads the rookie standings in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and is one of the Next 9 drivers selected by NASCAR. (Kate Gardiner Photography/NASCAR)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Greg Pursley wins again in the NASCAR West Series

Greg Pursley has been tough to beat all year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Not even a flat tire could keep him from taking the checkered flag at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash., on Sunday.
He won the Evergreen 200 after running over some debris and cutting a tire early in the race. He rallied through the field, took over lead with 12 laps to go, and won his sixth race of the year.
He has won six of the eight West Series races so far. He has won two in a row, taking the West Series race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on July 2.
Go to the K&N website for more on Pursley's win at Evergreen Speedway.

Photo: Greg Pursley had to pit early in the race at Evergreen Speedway to repair a flat tire. He returned to the race and won for the sixth time this season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. (Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

RJ Johnson moves to top of Super Late Model standings at Irwindale





IRWINDALE – RJ Johnson of Canyon Country won the NASCAR Super Late Models race and took over the lead in the Super Late Model standings at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.
Kevin Thompson from Conroe, Texas, who entered the race as the leader in the Super Late Model standings, crashed into the backstretch wall on the first lap of the race. He did not return.
Jason Patison from Corona, who was third in the Super Late Model standings, was collected in a crash on the second lap of the race with Dennis Schlarbaum of La Habra. Neither driver returned to the race.
Ryan Partridge of Rancho Cucamonga held the lead for the first half of the race. Johnson was the fast qualifier but had to work his way to the front after an inverted start put him 13th.
It was Johnson’s fourth win in five Super Late Model starts. Partridge finished second, followed by Race Liberante of Quartz Hill in third.
In other races, Gerrit Cromsigt of Saugus won the NASCAR Super Stocks race, his second of the season and his first since opening night.
Rich De Long III of Santa Clarita, the leader in the Super Stocks standings, was second. It was his second runner-up finish of the season. He leads the Super Stocks standings by eight points even though he has not won a race this year.
Curtis White of Norwalk, who is second in the Super Stocks standings, was third.
Andrew Anderson of Lancaster won the S2 stock car race and took over the lead in the standings at the track. It was his second win of the season. He has three runner-up finishes to go with his two wins.
Joe Anderson from Valencia was second followed by Nik Romano of Atherton in third. Andrew Porter from La Verne, who entered the night tied for first place with Anderson in the S2 standings, was fourth.
Riki Rachtman of Hollywood, of “Headbangers Ball” and “Loveline” fame, crashed into Trevor Huddleston in the S2 race and finished 10th.
Frankie Muniz, who starred in the TV show “Malcolm in the Middle,” was at the track to watch the races. He is planning on racing in the S2 stock cars in two weeks.
Eric Gunderson of San Diego won the Legends Cars race, his first of the season. Brent Scheidemantle of Alta Loma was second, followed by Donny St. Ours of Upland in third.
Chad Schug of Oak Hills, the leader in the Legends Cars standings, was seventh.
Daniel Nikolai of Granada Hills won the Bandoleros race, his fifth of the season. Christian McGhee of La Verne, the leader in the Bandoleros standings, was second, followed by Mikael Lovas of Menifee in third.
Austin Grabowski of Uplan won the Open Comp race. He was followed by Craig Rayburn of Simi Valley in second and Jerry Toporek of Venice in third.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Greg Pursley tops NASCAR Hunter Index for July

Greg Pursley has won five of the seven races in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West this year. He is coming off a dominating performance in the West Series race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. He is running away with the West Series championship.
Pursley was voted as the top driver in the NASCAR Hunter Index for July.
The Hunter Index ranks the top drivers in the NASCAR developmental series.
Pursley was the only driver from the West Series ranked in the top 10.
Go to NASCAR Home Tracks for a look at the top 10 drivers in the Hunter Index for July.
Here is a look at how I voted:

1.Greg Pursley – Good fortune is following Pursley unlike last year when he couldn’t avoid trouble. He gave much of the credit to good luck after winning the race at Irwindale. He said he had seven flat tires that took him out of races last year. No such misfortune so far in 2011.
      2. Sergio Pena – Pena showed what he could do in a race car at the Toyota All Star Showdown two years ago. It took him a while, but he seems to have found his stride again. It’s nice to see him winning some races finally.
      3. Max Gresham – He has been the most consistent racer in the K&N Pro Series East all year.
      4. Homero Richards
      5. DJ Kennington
      6. Scott Steckly
      7. Keith Rocco
      8. Todd Szegedy
      9. LV Miller
     10. Dylan Lupton
1   11. Lee Pulliam
1   12. Jimmy Zacharias
1   13. Adam Royle
1   14. Ron Quesnelle
1   15. Matt Scott

Monrovia's Todd Cameron engineering break-out season

Todd Cameron, a driver from Monrovia, has won two NASCAR Super Trucks races at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.
He started racing in the Super Trucks in 2006 and won his first race in April. He said it was amazing to finally win a race after so many years.
Cameron is also a mechanical engineer. Having an engineering background gives him a bit of an edge when it comes to preparing his truck for races.
Go to the Monrovia Patch site for more on Cameron and the Super Trucks.

Photo: Todd Cameron has won two races and is in fourth place in the NASCAR Super Trucks standings at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More from Greg Pursley's win at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale



Gene Price Motorsports teammates Greg Pursley and Dylan Kwasniewski posted podium finishes in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.
For Pursley, it was his fifth win of the season and the eighth of his West Series career. It was also his first West Series win at Irwindale. He won the pole, led a race-high 164 laps and was barely challenged in the second half of the race.
Kwasniewski, the 16-year-old from Las Vegas, finished third.
Go to the K&N website for more on the West Series race at Irwindale.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

IndyCar Series returns to Auto Club Speedway

A lot has changed since the last time Indy cars raced at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. For one, the track was known simply as California Speedway. Another difference was that there were two open-wheel racing series in America, the Indy Racing League and CART.
The series is unified under the Izod IndyCar Series. The track's name is changed. The racing might be some of the best the track has seen in a while.
The IndyCar Series will return to Fontana in September of 2012 for a night race. It is the first time in seven years that open-wheel race cars will be on the track.
Dario Franchitti won the last open-wheel race at Auto Club Speedway in 2005. The track is home to some of the more impressive speed records in the history of open-wheel racing, including the fastest lap ever recorded on a closed course. Gil de Ferran clocked a lap at 241 mph in qualifying in 2000.
Go to ESPN Los Angeles for more on the return of the IndyCar Series to Auto Club Speedway.

Photo: Dario Franchitti won the IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in 2005. It was the last IndyCar Series race at the Fontana track. (Photo by Chris Jones)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Greg Pursley wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Irwindale



Greg Pursley has been tough to beat all year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. He was especially tough to beat at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.
Pursley won the pole and the Southern California Toyota Dealers 200. He extended his lead in the West Series standings and won for the fifth time in seven races.
“When you’re on a roll like this, you gotta ride it as long as you can because everyone knows in racing it can end like that,” Pursley said.
In a way, Pursley, a driver for Gene Price Motorsports, finished what he started last year. He won the pole and led the first 41 laps of the West Series race at Irwindale in 2010. But he cut a tire and had to withdraw from the race.
Pursley made it through the race on Saturday night without incident to capture his eighth career West Series win.
“They give me an awesome car to drive and it makes it look easy,” Pursley said.
Pursley is one of the more successful drivers to come out of Irwindale. He won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship in 2004 racing Super Late Models at Toyota Speedway.
Derek Thorn of Lakeport was second followed by rookie Dylan Kwasniewski of Las Vegas in third.
Michael Self led at the halfway point of the race on lap 101. The cars pitted for mandatory stops.
Jeff Peterson of Riverside won the NASCAR Super Trucks race, his first of the season. He missed the first three races of the year, but has finished no worse than third in his past four races.
Todd Cameron of Monrovia was second followed by RJ Johnson of Canyon Country in third. Johnson has won three NASCAR Super Late Model races at the track and is second in the Super Late Model standings. He won the Super Trucks championship at the track in 2009.
Ryan Partridge of Ranch Cucamonga, the leader in the Super Trucks standings and winner of the previous two races, was 19th and completed 32 of the 40 laps.
Devon Ostheimer of Morgan Hill won the S2 stock car race in only second start in the series. The 17-year-old Ostheimer races regularly in the Late Models and has five top-five and one runner-up finish. It was his first win at the track.
Andrew Anderson of Lancastrer, the leader in the S2 standings, was second, followed by Andrew Porter of La Verne in third.
Riki Rachtman, who once co-hosted “Loveline” on KROQ and “Headbangers Ball” on MTV, finished 10th in the 11-car field.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dylan Kwasniewski finding his stride early on NASCAR West Series

The only thing holding Dylan Kwasniewski back in his rookie season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West was his age.
When the season started, he was only 15 years old. The age limit to compete in NASCAR touring events was 16. But that changed to 15 after the West Series season opener at Phoenix International Raceway.
Kwasniewski, a driver from Las Vegas, had to wait until the second West Series race to make his debut. He started his West Series career with a bang, the good kind, and posted a fourth-place finish in his first race.
Kwansnieski said he isn't happy with top fives though. He wants to win every race. He's with the team, Gene Price Motorsports, that has won four of the first six West Series races with Greg Pursley as driver.
Kwasniewski will be at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale this weekend looking for his first West Series win.
Go to the K&N website for more on Kwasniewski and his being selected as one of the NASCAR Next 9.

Photo: Dylan Kwasniewski made his debut at 15 and is already making a statement in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. (Kate Gardiner Photography/NASCAR)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Joey Logano wins West Series race in Sonoma with help from Max Papis

Joey Logano is no stranger to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. He was the East Series champion in 2009 and a two-time winner in the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.
He won the second West Series race of his career at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, passing David Gilliland late in the race. The two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers finished 1-2 in the West Series race.
Logano, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Cup Series, said he worked with Max Papis and Kyle Busch at Road Atlanta to prepare for the road course races in Sonoma.
Eric Holmes was the highest finishing driver among the West Series regulars in the race. He was third.
Greg Pursley extended his lead in the West Series standings with a fourth-place finish.
Go to the K&N website for more on the West Series race from Sonoma.

Photo: Joey Logano won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. It was the second West Series win of his career. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Retired Arcadia firefighter a top driver in Southwest Tour Trucks Series

video

Neil Conrad has been racing in the Southwest Tour Trucks Series since it started almost 20 years ago. The name of the series has changed a number of times since then, but Conrad has been one of the mainstays.
He has also become one of the most consistent and best drivers in the series.
He is second in the Southwest Tour Trucks Series standings after four races. He has finished as the runner-up to Jeff Williams in all four of those races.
The most recent Southwest Tour Trucks Series race produced the same result at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.
Go to Patch.com for more on Conrad and his Southwest Tour Trucks Series career.

Pena wins again in Virginia

Toyota Speedway of Irwindale fans might remember Sergio Pena from the Toyota All-Star Showdown a couple years ago. He battled with Joey Logano in one of the more memorable races at the track.
Pena won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Langley Speedway in Virginia on Saturday. It was his second win of the season and the second of his K&N Pro Series East career.
It took some time for Pena to kick his racing career into gear. He seems to have found a nice pace.
However, his two wins have been his only two top fives of the 2011 season.
Max Gresham finished third in the race at Langley Speedway and moved into the lead in the East Series standings after seven races.
Pena is in seventh place in the East Series standings.
Go to the K&N website for more on the East Series race at Langley Speedway.

Photo: Sergio Pena won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Langley Speedway in Virginia on Saturday night. (Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Your chance to ask Jeff Gordon a question

Ever wonder if Jeff Gordon wants his kids to follow in his footsteps as a NASCAR driver? Has he ever considered driving for a team other than Hendrick Motorsports? How are he and his new crew chief gelling?
Fans have already submitted those questions on the Bosch Sparks Plug Facebook page. Gordon will answer some of those questions directly, vie video, on the Facebook page.
Submit your questions. The deadline is June 30. It doesn't look like anything is off limits, but keep in family-friendly.

Photo: Jeff Gordon, who won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway a couple weeks ago, is taking fan questions through the Bosch Spark Plug Facebook page. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rookie Lupton sweeps Twin 30 Late Model races at Irwindale

Rookie Dylan Lupton of Wilton swept the Late Model Twin 30s at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale and Brandon Davis from Huntington Beach padded his lead in the Late Model standings with a pair of podium finishes at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.
Lupton has won three of the past four Late Model races at Irwindale. Davis was third in the first race and second in the second race. He won the first five races of the season and was the runner-up in the next two. But he was disqualified after his car did not pass inspection after the most recent race.
Despite being disqualified, he entered Saturday night’s race with a 22-point lead over Toni McCray of San Bernardino.
McCray was eighth in the first race and fifth in the second race.
In other races, Zack Green from Long Beach won the Super Stocks race, the first of his career. Gerrit Cromsigt of Saugus was second, followed by Rich DeLong III of Santa Clarita in third.
DeLong maintained his lead in the Super Stocks standings despite not winning a race this season. He has one runner-up finish as is six points ahead of Curtis White of Norwalk and Green after five races.
Jeff Williams of Newbury Park won his fourth Southwest Tour Trucks race in a row. Neil Conrad of Arcadia finished second for the fourth race in a row. Kirk Knostman of Hesperia was third and finished on the podium for the first time in his career.
Jason Galvin of Valencia, one of the track announcers at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, won the Open Comp race. He was followed by Jerry Toporek of Venice in second and Jim Schoening of Chicago in third.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pursley dominates at Las Vegas

Greg Pursley won the pole, set the track record in qualifying and led every lap in Saturday night's NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Pursley has won four of the five West Series races this year. He has a 201-point lead over Moses Smith and is running away with the West Series championship.
Dylan Kwasniewski, Pursley's teammate at Gene Price Motorsports, finished second. Jason Fensler, the only other driver to win a West Series race this year, was third. Fensler won the West Series race at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., and was making only his second West Series start of the season at Las Vegas.
Go to the K&N website for more on the West Series race at Las Vegas.

Photo: Greg Pursley in the No. 26 car, leads Eric Holmes at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Pursley won the race, his fourth of the season. (Jeff Bottari/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Gresham wins at Gresham Motorsports Park

Max Gresham's family owns the track, Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia. Now Gresham owns a trophy from the track after winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Gresham Motorsports Park on Saturday night.
Gresham led a race-high 98 laps and won the pole for the race. It was his first win of the season and the third of his career.
Darrell Wallace Jr. finished fourth and maintained his lead in the East Series standings after six races. He has a five-point edge over Matt DiBenedetto.
Go to the K&N website for more on the East Series race from Gresham Motorsports Park.

Photo: Max Gresham does a burnout for the fans at Gresham Motorsports Park on Saturday after he picked up his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win of the season. (Kevin Cox/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Philip Morris tops NASCAR Hunter Index for June

Philip Morris, a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series driver from South Boston Speedway in Virginia, was the top driver in the Hunter Index for June.

He wasn't my choice, but he received four first-place votes and beat Keith Rocco, 174-168.

I put Brett Moffitt atop my list for the Hunter Index. He won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at Iowa Speedway last month.

Greg Pursley was the only driver from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in the Hunter Index top 10. He came in at No. 6 after a fourth-place finish in the K&N Pro Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Go to NASCAR Home Tracks for the complete Hunter Index for June.

Photo: Philip Morris won nine Late Model races in a row at South Boston Speedway in Virginia and earned the top spot in the Hunter Index for June. (James Price)

Here is a look at how I voted:

'One Night In June' highlights history of Bowman Gray Stadium

Bowman Gray Stadium in North Carolina has been home to NASCAR almost since its birth. The first NASCAR race was run there in 1949. Some of the legends of NASCAR raced there during their careers.
It was the site of Richard Petty's 100th NASCAR win. Junior Johnson, Davey Allison and Tiny Lund won NASCAR races at the track.
Bowman Gray Stadium will be the subject of a documentary called "One Night In June." Film crews recorded Saturday night's NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race as part of the documentary.
Matt DiBenedetto won the race, leading every lap including the final six that went past the scheduled 150.
Go to the K&N website for more on the "One Night In June" documentary and the history of Bowman Gray Stadium.

Photo: Matt DiBenedetto, in the No. 15 Toyota, won Saturday night's NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Bowman Grey Stadium in North Carolina. Bowman Gray will be the subject of a documentary called  "One Night In June." (Credit: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How Bryan Herta, Sam Schmidt and Charlie Kimball helped Dan Wheldon win the Indy 500

Dan Wheldon won his second Indianapolis 500, but if not for a trio of Southern Californians, he might have never made it to the finish line at the Brickyard on Sunday.
The owner of the Wheldon’s car is Valencia’s Bryan Herta.
The team that provided the car for Wheldon to drive is owned by Sam Schmidt, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, graduated from Pepperdine and went to Village Christian in Sun Valley.
The driver of the car who played a role in the last-lap crash that took out leader JR Hildebrand was Camarillo’s Charlie Kimball.
Without those three people, Wheldon probably doesn’t have a car to drive nor is he in position to win the Indy 500.
Wheldon, driving for Bryan Herta Autosport, took the lead for the first time in the race on the last lap when the rookie Hildebrand crashed into turn 4 wall.
Hildebrand was leading the race, but tried to pass Kimball on the outside. Hildebrand slid into the turn 4 wall allowing Wheldon a chance to take the lead and win the race. Hildebrand skidded across the finish line in second place.
It led to a surprising finish, with Wheldon leading only the last few hundred yards of the race. He became the first driver in the history of the Indy 500, which was celebrating its centennial anniversary, to win the race leading only the last lap of the race.
“When I saw him crash, I mean, I knew it wasn’t serious. As soon as I knew it was not serious, there was a little smile on my face, I will say,” Wheldon said. “From that point, it was just making sure that I didn’t do anything silly. Then I think I got on the radio and started crying.”
Bryan Herta Autosport is a part-time player in the Izod IndyCar Series. Herta has a team that runs the entire Firestone Indy Lights series, but only one IndyCar Series race. He entered the Indy 500 last year with Sebastian Saavedra as his driver and had the last car to qualify in the 33-car field.
In the second start for Bryan Herta Autosport at the Indy 500, Wheldon put Herta’s car on the second row, qualifying sixth, and in a much better position to contend for a win. Herta knew his chances of winning were slim, but with Wheldon as his driver, he had confidence.
“Dan has done such a great job. One of the things he did for us is bring an attitude and a belief we could win this race,” said Herta, who graduated from Hart High School in Newhall. “On paper, based on our previous effort, anything, on paper we really had no business believing we could win it. But Dan believed in us so strongly he made us believe it, too. I really think over the course of this last two weeks, he made the crew guys believe it, he made a lot of people on the outside believe it, because so many people were coming up to us the week of the race saying, ‘We think you’re going to win.’ It was so uplifting.”
Schmidt had his own two-car effort in the Indy 500. One of his drivers, Alex Tagliani, won the pole. Schmidt had good cars, but they were still considered inferior to the ones put together by Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi and Michael Andretti. Wheldon said he didn’t see a Penske car in front of him the entire race. Ganassi’s drivers, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, led the Indy 500 at various points, but fell out of contention when their fuel strategies failed. Danica Patrick, driving for Andretti Autosport, led late in the race, but had to pit for fuel.
Schmidt’s cars meanwhile were strong and fast.
“They dug all month. The 77 (Tagliani) and 99 (Townsend Bell) worked really well together and had fast cars,” Schmidt said. “Unfortunately, they both got a little out of sequence. We probably should’ve finished at least second or third when all was said and done. You can’t second-guess what happens in the race, and that is what this place is all about. At least we got a little piece of that car rolling up on victory circle right there. It was Bryan’s, and that's cool.”
Kimball turned out to be the unfortunate X factor in Wheldon’s win. Hildebrand came up on Kimble, the last car on the lead lap, on the final turn of the race. Instead of letting up on the throttle and coasting to the finish line, Hildebrand tried to pass Kimball. Kimball did nothing wrong, but Hildebrand made the mistake of trying to pass Kimball on the outside. Hildebrand crashed and Wheldon was the surprise and teary-eyed winner of the Indy 500.
“I’m not normally that emotional,” Wheldon said. “But having been through what we’ve been through, being able to deliver this for everybody is certainly very gratifying. Proud of everybody. In terms of what it will do for the future, it will make me a happier person on the beach. In terms of more races, you'll have to ask these guys.”

Photo: Dan Wheldon won his second career Indianapolis 500 driving for Bryan Hertra Autosport. (Photo by LAT)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dan Wheldon wins Indy 500 for Bryan Herta Autosport

Dan Wheldon took the lead in Sunday's Indianapolis 500 on the last turn of the last lap and won the race for the second time in his career.
It was an unlikely finish to the 100th anniversary of the first Indy 500. Wheldon, driving for Valencia's Bryan Herta, was making his first and probably only start of the Izod IndyCar Series season.
Herta, the owner of Bryan Herta Autosport, was entered in his only IndyCar Series race of the season and making only his second career start as a team owner.
The two teamed up to win the Indy 500 taking advantage of a last-lap crash by JR Hildebrand, who slid in to the turn 4 wall trying to pass a lapped car.
Go to Hometown Station.com for more on Bryan Herta Autosport winning the Indy 500.

Photo: Valencia's Bryan Herta, left, driver Dan Wheldon, and Steve Newey talk to the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after winning the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. (Dana Garrett)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Third time's a charm for Brett Moffitt at Iowa Speedway

Brett Moffitt won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night leading a pack of three drivers from the East Series on the podium in the Pork "Be Inspired" 175.
Moffitt, who grew up in nearby Grimes, Iowa, won his first K&N Pro Series race at Iowa Speedway in three tries at the track.
It was the sixth win of his NASCAR K&N Pro Series career and his second win of the season.
Drivers and teams from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West raced against each other in the fifth annual event at Iowa Speedway.
Max Gresham was second, followed by Eddie MacDonald in third.
Greg Pursley was fourth overall and the highest finishing driver from the West Series. He was credited with a win in the West Series standings and extended his lead to 114 points over Moses Smith.
Go to the K&N website for more on the race at Iowa Speedway.

Photo: Brett Moffitt, driving the 00 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing, won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at Iowa Speedway, his second of the season. (Credit: Meg Bestell-Eide)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ten-year-old Teddy Hodgdon seeks two titles

Teddy Hodgdon, a 10-year-old sprint car driver from Danbury, Conn., was so enamored with Travis Kvapil's K&N sponsored NASCAR truck that he wore it as a Halloween costume a few years ago.
Hodgdon has his own K&N backed car and a Hoosier Tire Challenge Series championship at Twin State Speedway in New Hampshire.
The fourth-grader wants another track championship at Twin State. He is also racing at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut and pursuing a track championship there.
Go to the K&N website for more on Hodgdon and his start to the racing season in New England.

Photo: Teddy Hodgdon won the Hoosier Tire Challenge Series championship at Twin State Speedway in New Hampshire in 2010.

Micro sprint driver Ethan Myatt heading in right direction

Ethan Myatt, a 16-year-old micro sprint car driver from Clovis, Calif.,started off the season at Lemoore Raceway with a runner-up finish in the season opener.
His results have steadily declined since opening night, but Myatt said he feels his team is making strides and improving.
He has been consistently in the top five at Lemoore Raceway, but has yet to win a race at the track.
Myatt is in his second year of racing in the micro sprint stock car class at Lemoore and looking for the first win of his short career.
Go to the K&N website for more on Myatt and Lemoore Raceway.

Photo: Ethan Myatt finished second in the micro sprint stock car season opener at Lemoore Raceway.

Friday, May 6, 2011

17-year-old Jessica Clark takes two paths

Some 17-year-old girls are lucky to have one car at their disposal.
Jessica Clark has two race cars.
The junior at Westlake High School is racing in the S2 stock car division at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale in addition to driving her Ford Focus Midget at race tracks from Madera to Las Vegas.
She finished ninth in her first S2 stock car race at Irwindale last month. A week later, she won a Ford Focus Midget race at the Bullring in Las Vegas.
Clark returns to Irwindale for the second race of the S2 stock car season on Saturday night.
Go to ESPNLA.com for more on Clark and her busy racing schedule.

Photo: Jessica Clark, a 17-year-old from Westlake Village, finished ninth in the S2 stock car season opener at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on April 9.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ted Christopher tops NASCAR Hunter Index for May

Ted Christopher won two races in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour and one in the Whelen Modified Tour to capture the top spot in the Hunter Index for May.
The driver from Plainville, Conn., also won a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race at Thompson International Speedway in Connecticut giving him four wins and five top-fives in seven starts in April.
Greg Pursley, a Canyon High graduate who used to live in Newhall has won two of the first three races in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season, came in at No. 3 in the Hunter Index. His most recent win was on Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. He also won the season opener at Phoenix International Raceway.
Brandon Davis, a driver from Henderon, Nev., has won five NASCAR Late Model races at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale and is the No. 4 driver in the Hunter Index, which ranks the top drivers in the NASCAR developmental series in the nation.
Go to NASCAR Hometracks to see the rest of the top 10.
Here is how I voted:

Hunter Index for May
1. Greg Pursley
2. Sergio Pena
3. Darrell Wallace Jr.
4. Jason Fensler
5. Ted Christopher
6. Brandon Davis
7. Max Gresham
8. Moses Smith
9. Brett Moffitt
10. Bobby Santos
11. Rogelio Lopez
12. Dylan Kwasniewski
13. Zachary Hausler
14. BJ Mackey
15. Jesse Lefevres

Photo: Ted Christopher (00) won the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified race at Caraway Speedway, one of four races he won in April. He was ranked No. 1 in the NASCAR Hunter Index for May. (Credit: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Greg Pursley makes it two in a row at Miller Motorsports Park

Greg Pursley is on quite a roll. He won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah on Saturday. It was his second win in three races this season and his fourth win in the past six West Series race going back to 2010.
Pursley won the race at Miller Motorsports Park in September to start his recent run.
With the win, Pursley, a Canyon High graduate, leads the West Series standings by 58 points over Moses Smith.
Go to the K&N website for more on the West Series race from Miller Motorsports Park.

Photo: Greg Pursley won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. It was his second win in three West Series races this season. (Credit: George Frey/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Darrell Wallace Jr. records first East Series win of the season

Darrell Wallace Jr. won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Richmond International Raceway and took over the lead in the East Series standings.
Wallace won his first East Series race of the season and the third of his career. It was the first time the East Series visited Richmond International Raceway.
"Coming to this track, no one’s run here except for Coleman Pressley," Wallace said. "He ran the Nationwide race here. I was able to get some practice last week in a late model, me and Max Gresham. We had a little leg up on the other drivers. It was definitely cool to be a part of. We’re trying to make a name for ourselves. I think we’re doing it that so far. We just have to stay with it and be there at the end of the season."
It was the second win a row for Revolution Racing. Teammate Sergio Pena won the East Series race at South Boston Speedway in Virginia.
Wallace has a 26-point lead over Pena.
Go to the K&N website for more on the East Series race at Richmond.
Photo: Darrell Wallace Jr. won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Richmond International Raceway and took over the lead in the East Series standings after three races. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sprint car driver Nick Davis gearing up for season

Nick Davis and his Speedline Racing Team have been working on a new sprint car to take racing at tracks in Northern California.
The driver from Stockton admits his 2010 season did not unfold as he expected. He called it a growth year.
Part of that growth included building a new wingless car to take to tracks in Chico, Marysville and Petaluma among others.
He is still a couple weeks away from making his season debut, most likely at the track in Chico.
Go to the K&N website for more on Davis and his plans for the 2011 racing season.

Photo: Nick Davis, a driver from Stockton, plans on making his season debut in Chico.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Part-timer Jason Fensler wins West Series race at Roseville

Jason Fensler doesn't race that often in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. In only his fifth career start, Fensler won his second race at All American Speedway in Roseville on Saturday night.
Fensler, a driver from Wilton, Calif., said he doesn't plan on racing again in the West Series until June in Las Vegas. He might want to reconsider given his track record in his first five West Series races.
The last time he won a race in the West Series was in 2008 at Altamont Raceway Park.
Go to the K&N website for more on the West Series race at Roseville.

Photo: Jason Fensler won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at All American Speedway in Roseville on Saturday night. It was his second win in five career West Series starts. (